September 2017 – Branching Out: Millennial Mystery Shop Part Two – Full-Service Brokerage Firms

This month, Corporate Insight is proud to present part two of the Broker Monitor millennial mystery shop series. In our first report, we examined the appointment booking, in-branch and follow-up experiences of two 26-year-old novice investors—Natalie and John—visiting seven discount brokerage branches in the greater New York City area. Natalie and John had divergent experiences, received different investment product recommendations and were followed up with in differing manners. This time around, we sought to understand the experiences of older, wealthier millennials when connecting with advisors from eight different full-service brokerages in the same area.

So how are older millennial prospects being served by these institutions? In this report, we present a full-service brokerage mystery shop, examining the appointment-booking process, in-branch/office consultation and follow-up experience of two older millennials, aged 33, seeking advice on how best to manage their money. The two prospects, whom we refer to as Jeff and Molly, visited branches of eight different full-service brokerage firms in New York City. They have the exact same profile: the same investable assets, the same level of investing experience (novice) and equal salaries. Despite their identical profiles, Molly and Jeff had disparate experiences with advisors.

Overall, the mystery shops conducted at both discount and full-service firms uncovered a large inconsistency across the Broker Monitor coverage group. All four shoppers agree that discount and full-service firms alike should offer a more seamless appointment-booking process, especially given the technology to which they have access. To the shoppers’ surprise, several advisors were unaware of their firms’ online advisor locator tools. Additionally, while each firm provided some degree of investment recommendation, tactics varied widely. Post-consultation follow-ups also proved inconsistent among firms and by prospect.